In this post: This primary bedroom closet remodel shows how the key to closet organization is to set up systems that are easy to maintain.⇒
I have a confession.
I’ve always been obsessively organized!
Whether it be my desk, my closets, my computer files, or anything else, I can’t relax if things are not perfectly in order. Keeping things neat comes naturally to me, but that’s not the case with everyone else I live with. What I’ve learned over the years is that the key to organization is having systems in place that make upkeep foolproof.
Anyone can clean out a closet, but keeping it that way despite daily pressures is the real challenge. Starting with our primary bedroom closet remodel, I’m sharing with you my top closet organization ideas, with tips and tricks that are easy to maintain.
Let’s begin with a before picture. I’m lucky enough, in my new home, to have a bedroom closet that’s quite spacious. But size, in this case, definitely doesn’t matter.
Often, the larger the space, the more junk people fill it with. So if you are concerned that your small closet is not as large as what you see here, please keep in mind the same principles work no matter what size your closet is. I promise you, my closet was just as neat in my previous homes when I had far less space.
The photo above is what my closet looked like when we first moved in. It was a big empty area, with cheap wire shelves, randomly hung. This free-form type of closet storage was never going to work for me…
Closet Remodel Design
I’ll also confess, my DIY skills are confined to design. So, I knew I’d be working with a closet system company to fulfill my plan, but many of you can achieve these goals doing the building yourselves.
Step one is to determine how much space you need for hanging vs folding. You don’t need me to tell you that you need to edit, so let’s assume you already went through your clothing and parted with the items that no longer work. I literally measured every single inch of my former closet, before we moved, to make sure I could tailor my new space to my exact needs. (I’ll address in a separate post some ideas for the overflow, if your needs surpass your current space.)
Once you have your hanging space determined and rods installed, it’s time to actually organize what you’re planning to keep there. My primary hanging space, shown above, pretty much tells you everything you need to know about my approach to hanging garments. Like items hang together, always facing in the same direction on identical hangers. They are grouped by color with tops on top and bottoms on the bottom.
(Yes, I know I have a lot of jackets… 😉 My wardrobe pretty much consists of blazers and jeans!)
Always make sure you have plenty of extra hangers because the very first way to undo your system is to buy something new and have no place to put it. (I also practice the ‘one in, one out’ rule, where I try *really hard* to eliminate something every time I add something new.)
Hanging space is fairly obvious, so most of what I’ll address is the rest of your ‘stuff’. I prefer to keep my perfume and makeup somewhere other than the bathroom to keep it fresh and free from humidity. If you have a spot for it, it’s nice to keep perfume bottles on a tray atop a small display shelf. Add a hook to the side wall space to hang necklaces and keep them from getting tangled.
Folded items are where I get crazy obsessed. The whole point of being organized is to be able to find your things when you are rushing to get dressed, so I always keep my sweaters grouped by color. For my black sweaters, which I have many, I segment even further and group by knit quality.
If you keep t-shirts folded on a shelf, you can store them the same way, and while I prefer to hang pants, you could keep them folded if your closet rod is already full.
It’s actually a pleasure to see your things grouped this way. It also helps to show you at a glance what colors you have enough of when you’re going to shop. If your folded piles begin to tip over, be sure to include clear vertical shelf dividers to keep the stacks separated. Alternatively, you can use baskets or storage bins on shelves to corral the clutter, but I tend to save these for items I use less often. Out of sight means out of mind.
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If you have a walk-in closet, another nice feature is to add a small ottoman to sit on while you dress. You might lay out your clothing there, place things down while putting away clean laundry or sit down to put shoes and sox on. We upgraded from a tiny bench type to a round tufted ottoman with its own storage space.
I’m one of those people that’s crazy about matching hangers. Nothing makes a closet look messy faster than hanging your clothing on flimsy dry cleaning hangers, half broken and all at different heights. Trust me, I know. In the spirit of full disclosure, you will notice I’m only showing 3 sides to this closet. That’s because hubby’s things are on the fourth side and he refuses to let me change his hangers!
I use wooden hangers for pants and jackets and slim space-saving velvet hangers for blouses and lighter fabric tops.
In addition to wanting my clothing easy to find, my other key issue is keeping things dust free. For that reason I’ve added a few shelves with glass doors, a perfect place to keep less used accessories. I keep purses and clutches behind these doors, so they’re easy to grab when I’m changing bags.
I also included a few specialty hooks that would help corral items requiring individual treatment. For hubby I added two pull out racks for his ties, as well as another for hanging belts.
You’re probably wondering where I keep my shoes and the quick answer is everywhere! But this also brings me to my secret weapon, an item I use for just about everything. I have a countless number of clear pull out drawers that you’ll continue to see in future posts. I love that these drawer organizers keep things visible, organized and dust free. I use them for all my shoes that are small enough to fit, as well as cosmetics, accessories, undergarments and more.
I also added a belt rack to my side of the closet, another set of hooks that slides out for easy use. A belt rack could be used for jewelry organization, as well, or any other category of smaller items that can be hung on a hook.
One of my favorite extras is the valet hook, a great way to prepare an outfit for a special event. It’s also a great place to hang the clothing that otherwise winds up thrown on a chair.
I often buy cosmetics in bulk for convenience, and while I keep my everyday items on my dressing table, I keep the spares in the plastic drawers which can be stacked for extra storage to keep my closet space neat.
I left taller space at the bottom of the shelving to accommodate my boots. Inexpensive plastic boot trees help keep the boots lined up neatly while ensuring they maintain their shape.
On my top shelves I store less often used handbags, but always keep them covered in plastic or their dust jackets. They would look prettier in baskets, but I like to see what I have and keep them dust free.
Above is a glimpse of the closet shelves with the plastic bins filled with everything under the sun, in large part to store shoes, but also socks, scarves, evening bags and more.
For shorter booties I use a narrow shelf… as I said, I keep shoes everywhere (although I do not use a shoe rack)!
I even have more plastic drawers tucked beneath my hanging clothes and, of course, they hold more shoes.
Below is the second valet hook and we have a full length mirror attached to the back of the closet door, a must in any dressing area.
I remember once filling out an online questionnaire that asked ‘what do you have on your closet floor?’ I answered then, as now, with all honesty, absolutely nothing. What do you have on your closet floor?
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
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